Dear Friends and Supporters,
Another academic year has come and gone here at the CLET in Dapaong,
Togo. We had five students successfully complete their studies. They
have returned to their home countries of Congo-Brazzaville and the Ivory
Coast to begin their vicarages.
The thirteen students who are staying to continue with their second
year of formation spent several weeks over this summer taking a course on
computer skills. They were able to learn the basics of Windows and
programs such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. These skills will be very
important in their studies at CLET and at other institutions if they choose to
pursue higher studies. This will also help to have more church leaders with
competence in communication to aid in collaboration and transparency in
church organization and financial projects.
The new school year brought seventeen new students to begin their studies.
This brings our student body up to twenty-eight students – the highest it has
been at CLET for several years now.
Another positive development is that fellow missionaries, Ms. Molly
Christensen and Rev. Ryan McDermott and his family will be getting settled in
Dapaong in the next few months. Ms. Christensen will be serving as a nurse
for our seminary community and working with intermittent Mercy Medical
Teams in West Africa. Rev. McDermott will be teaching sign language and
helping our West and Central African partner churches to reach out to the
deaf populations in their respective countries.
Please pray that the Lord would guide and protect the new
missionaries and the new students as they begin to get established in work
and study in Dapaong.
Guinea Teaching Trip
I had the privilege of traveling and working with Rev. Tim Heiney in Guinea
this July. You may remember that when I first accepted the call to serve as a
theological educator in Africa my first experience on the continent was a two
week trip in Guinea with Rev. Heiney and his wife, Beth.
The Heineys have been active in Lutheran mission work in West Africa for
decades. They specialize in evangelizing in unreached areas where no other
missionaries have yet been active. By God's grace, they shared God's Word
in Ghana and in Guinea. A tool that Rev. Heiney developed is a picture
catechism, called “La Parole Dessinée,” which explains basic Christian
doctrine, the Reformation, and the differences between Christianity and
Islam. This picture Catechism has traditionally been given out to the faithful
and the leaders on single photocopied sheets. Thanks to a generous donor
through Mission Central inMapleton, Iowa, we have been able to print out laminated
poster-size flip chart form. In this way, each
evangelist, pastor, and congregation can have their own
set that they can easily set up in the church building, or
on a tree or post in a market area for instruction. These
poster charts have just been printed in Wisconsin and will
be sent to West Africa in the large shipping container that
will depart in late 2017.
I was also accompanied by my supervisor, Rev. Gary Schulte and his wife, Stephanie. Rev.
Schulte serves as the Area Director for West and Central Africa. Stephanie is a licensed nurse and helps
with planning medical mission teams to West and Central Africa. For both Rev. Gary and Stephanie, this
was their first time back in Guinea since they had served the LCMSin Africa 15 years ago. Gary was able
to see how the church and leadership has developed over the years and to discuss the projects and
goals that the church has for their further work. This visit was an important benchmark in the history of
this church body because I, a theological educator at CLET, came to Guinea for an official teaching
seminar. In the long history of the LCMS mission work in Guinea and the CLET, this was the first time a CLET missionary
had done this kind of instruction in Guinea.
Shortly after returning from Guinea, I had to hurry to the United
States to take care of some final matters with the container
project that has been in the works since January. I had to be on
the ground to meet some contributors face to face and to help
get some of the items to Wisconsin. The Lord has abundantly
blessed our collection so far.
Our original plan was to acquire a few thousand hymnals
and several hundred Book of Concord in French for the pastors
and churches. Additionally, we wanted to acquire books for
the libraries at the seminaries in Dapaong, Togo;
Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo; and
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
We also wanted to collect large bells and
So far, due to the fantastic cooperation of
various organizations and individuals, we have
- 2,000 Hymnals in French – donated by the Lutheran Church -Canada
- 600 sets of a 3 volume dogmatics textbook in French by Dr. Wilbur Kreiss – in cooperation with Lutheran Heritage Foundation
- 2,500+ copies of an abridged dogmatic text in French by Dr. Wilbur Kreiss – in cooperation with Lutheran Heritage Foundation
- 400+ copies of the “Children's Garden of Bible Stories” in French – in cooperation with Lutheran Heritage Foundation
- 400+ copies of “God's Yes and God's No” an abridged French version of C.F.W. Walther's “Law and Gospel” - in cooperation with Lutheran Heritage Foundation
- 585 copies of “The Word Illustrated” in French in poster form – from a generous gift from Mission Central
- 1000+ theological academic books in French for the seminary libraries in Dapaong, Brazzaville, and Kinshasa – from a generous gift from Mission Central and in cooperation with Rev. David and Carla Maffett in Paris, France
- 2,500+ volumes of theological academic books in English for the libraries at Dapaong, Brazzaville, Kinshasa, and the training Institutes in Sierra Leone and Guinea – donated by the Chemnitz Library
Initiative of Concordia Theological Seminary library in Ft. Wayne (CTSFW) with outstanding cooperation
and effort by Rev. Dr. Robert and Kay Roethemeyer and the library staff. * It is worthy of recognition that
a significant portion of these books were generously donated by the family of the late Rev. Dr. Ronald
Feuerhahn of Concordia Seminary St. Louis. We pray that these books help train future pastors and
theologians in Africa in a way that would continue the faithful legacy of Dr. Feuerhahn*
- 80 copies of “The Lutheran Hymnal” in English for Ghana – donated by the Chemnitz Library Initiative of the CTSFW Library.
- 8,000+ copies of Good News Magazine in English and French – generously donated by Good News Magazine
- 18 large cast iron church bells – donated by various individuals and congregations and also purchased with a gift through Mission Central
- various vestments, church banners, communion ware, instruments - donated by various individuals and congregations and also purchased with a gift through Mission Central
All logistics of shipping and customs have been covered by a generous gift through Mission Central of Mapleton, Iowa.
I had spent three weeks making a large route in a Uhaul and later a Penske truck through
Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, and Michigan to pick up numerous pallets of donated goods.
I thank the Lord for his safe-keeping along the way. I also thank my father,
Bill Gaugert, and my grandfather Larry Lange, other members of my family,
and the members of St. John's Lutheran Church in Sullivan, Wisconsin, for
their help with this project.
By the time you receive this newsletter the container will probably be
on its way or the items in the final stages of shipping preparations. Please
pray that all would go smoothly with the transport and shipping and that we
will be spared from unexpected and costly surprises in dealing with customs
in Burkina Faso.
These resources will help the
local African pastors and leaders to be
better informed of Lutheran theology and
practice so that they can be united and
informed as they address cultural and
ministerial challenges in their contexts
and as they seek to share the Word of
God in its truth and purity.
I will certainly keep you posted on
the impact of these many gifts.
Furlough in 2018
I also want to inform all of you,
my patient and faithful supporters, that I
will be back in the United States starting
in July 2018 for 4-8 months of home
service. This is the time that a missionary
comes back on furlough to
reconnect with parishes and donors to give a personal report on the impact of
their support and prayers. Normally a missionary comes back after two years
in the field to conduct these visits. Because of pressing involvement in our
field and changes in our team in West Africa, I have been putting off my
furlough for a few years to focus on the tasks I have needed to do with my
African and American colleagues. In light of the unfortunate fact that I have
found it very difficult to keep up on regular newsletters, I want to make a point
to make as many visits as possible to let you all know the fruits of the work to
which you give.
In order to try to keep the visits in the same area I will be trying to stick
to a general travel schedule of:
- July 2018 – Missouri/Kansas
- August/September 2018 – Wisconsin
- October/November 2018 – Iowa/Nebraska/Kansas
- December 2018 – Indiana/Ohio
- January/February 2019 – California/Florida/New Jersey/Pennsylvania
This travel schedule is a general guide and not established in stone. I
share it so that I can use the limited travel resources to make shorter hops
from one parish/area to another, rather than making large plane trips or
crossing entire states to do one presentation. Please send an email to me to
let me know of a particular Sunday or time when I might be able to visit you
and your parishes and church groups. Even though we are still a year away
from my furlough visits, I look forward to reconnecting with many of you and
letting you know what the Lord is doing in the mission field.
Thank you again for your faithful, sacrificial giving and your prayers.
Rev. Jacob W. Gaugert
Centre Luthérien D'Études Theologiques
Togocell # (+228) 93 43 95 26
T-Mobile Intl. # (262) 271-3813
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